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Old 06-02-2016, 05:47 AM
 
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I read an article a few years ago about product companies cutting back on their coupons, and boy have they.
My local paper hardly has any that I use. It's a small town free paper so I suppose I should be glad there are any in there at all. But even the big city Sunday papers I see, don't have coupons like they used to.

Food-wise I didn't use coupons a lot. I think most food coupons are of processed junk.
BUT once every couple of years, for about a month-or-so I would save any coupons for paper goods so I could don my once every two year household stock up of TP, paper towels, and trash bags. But seems like paper goods companies are the ones that have REALLY cut back on coupons. I haven't seen coupons for brand name TP or paper towels in forever seems like.

Have you noticed a death of coupons? brand name household goods coupons?

Thank goodness one of my credit cards is doing a promotion with a national warehouse membership club….I can shop for a day at membership prices. I'm already planning my stock up…So glad I the storage room for 3-4t years worth of goods. But then again, being single with no kids…one 15-pack of paper towels will last me two years! 100 trash bags is like 5 years….The toilet paper -- now THAT is a storage hog.
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Old 06-02-2016, 06:12 AM
 
Location: Cheektowaga, NY
880 posts, read 564,351 times
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Dearth of coupons? No.

Dearth of GOOD coupons? Yes.
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Old 06-02-2016, 09:57 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
16,851 posts, read 51,301,408 times
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The toilet paper -- now THAT is a storage hog.

Bidet. You end up (pun intended) using maybe a dozen rolls of tp a year for blotting dry.

Coupons might save a little money on particular products but they encourage being part of the consumer culture, so for some people the net "savings" is illusory or they might even spend more overall.
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Old 06-02-2016, 04:22 PM
 
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Oddly, my local chain supermarket usually has better sale prices on things like trash bags, paper towels, etc. than the 2 national membership clubs around here. I wait until there is a sale and then I stock up.
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Old 06-04-2016, 10:02 AM
 
Location: CO
2,456 posts, read 2,438,058 times
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I'm not a coupon clipper so I can't weigh in on whether there are fewer now, but my grocery (Kroger chain) has an online coupon service. They send an email with the latest coupons and you can choose to add them or not to your store loyalty card. It's pretty simple. The best part is the personalized coupons for things I always buy, which they know of because of the loyalty card. Yes, they're spying on me! Do I care if they know what my most-often purchased items are? No.
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Old 06-05-2016, 05:26 AM
bUU
 
Location: Georgia
11,699 posts, read 8,161,343 times
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Coupons are a marketing expense, and just like running an advertisement on television, it only makes sense to offer coupons that result in higher profits than in the absence of those coupons. So if the "goodness" of coupons is measured in some kind of advantage of the consumer over the producer (rather than advantage of one producer over another), that's an unsustainable model, and perhaps therefore remarkable that the imbalance lasted as long as it did.

I do wonder, though, to what extent the various means available to achieve proficiency has affected things. Forty years ago, coupon clipping was significant work - more work than anyone with a full-time job could reasonably hope to accomplish. Over time, it got easier - easier to acquire coupons, easier to find the real gems, etc. Increasing ease works against the profit advantage that producers glean. If coupons become just an arms race between competitors, cannibalizing each other's profit to the benefit solely of the consumers, eventually something is going to break. Competition is good, but competition that breaks that market itself, by damaging the producers, isn't (unless you're aiming for something closer to socialism, I suppose).

There is a mitigator in this: Our private data is much more valuable now than forty years ago. We can acquire some decent discounts these days, paying for them with our privacy.
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Old 06-05-2016, 09:24 AM
 
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I haven't signed up for any online coupon services. I only ever used newspaper coupons -- periodically, for only mostly paper goods. There are hardly EVER any coupons for produce, and they're usually tied to another product. For example -- buy milk and get a head of lettuce.

It infuriates me that there are all kinds of coupons for junk type, processed foods. If it comes in a box you can get a coupon. But for produce, or most organic foods -- NADA! And I know the promotion is technically a different issue, but I've always wondered WHY -- if the dairy folks and processed food folks can get together and form their councils…WHY can't produce people get their acts together. Why have there never been coupons for produce.

Pork is the other white meat, beef is what's for dinner, got milk -- and the produce growers do nothing in terms of promotion, nothing much. Can you think of a slogan for apples, oranges, baby lettuce, or carrots. The avocado people have done some advertising. A book I read once touched on why product farmers haven't banded together like diary and meat producers have, but I forget the real reason it suggested.

So if your a mostly vegetarian, health food "organic" type food shopper -- no coupons for you.
But if you want to buy man made food rollup, liquid sugar soda, or processed cereal -- you can find all the coupons you want.
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Old 06-05-2016, 12:17 PM
 
11,429 posts, read 19,438,504 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bUU View Post
Coupons are a marketing expense, and just like running an advertisement on television, it only makes sense to offer coupons that result in higher profits than in the absence of those coupons. So if the "goodness" of coupons is measured in some kind of advantage of the consumer over the producer (rather than advantage of one producer over another), that's an unsustainable model, and perhaps therefore remarkable that the imbalance lasted as long as it did.

I do wonder, though, to what extent the various means available to achieve proficiency has affected things. Forty years ago, coupon clipping was significant work - more work than anyone with a full-time job could reasonably hope to accomplish. Over time, it got easier - easier to acquire coupons, easier to find the real gems, etc. Increasing ease works against the profit advantage that producers glean. If coupons become just an arms race between competitors, cannibalizing each other's profit to the benefit solely of the consumers, eventually something is going to break. Competition is good, but competition that breaks that market itself, by damaging the producers, isn't (unless you're aiming for something closer to socialism, I suppose).

There is a mitigator in this: Our private data is much more valuable now than forty years ago. We can acquire some decent discounts these days, paying for them with our privacy.
Coupons were also a way to get an idea of how a product was doing in sections of the country. Now with computers, they know what's moving where.

Most often now, coupons are for products that are pretty useless like air freshener.
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Old 06-06-2016, 06:21 PM
 
1,305 posts, read 833,299 times
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Whole Foods seem to have their own coupons, and they look pretty good, for organic stuff.

And I agree, all I saw this Sunday was for boxes of cereal, buy three, save a dollar...

I use coupons for my hair color. $2 off a single box, or $5 off 2.
I'm thrilled w/the savings. lol
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Old 06-08-2016, 08:41 PM
 
Location: Gardner, MA
114 posts, read 71,889 times
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My observation is that most coupons these days are online in one form or another. In some cases, you get them at checkout. Some of the major brands (especially soda) offer specials more often (like the 5 for $5 2L sodas.)


We recently moved, so I'm learning how the stores here handle their coupons versus outright sales. The last place we lived had a Weis, and I liked that we received both online and postal mail coupons for their store brand items, which not all stores do. The online coupons were attached to our store cards we scanned at the register. Fortunately, a lot of Weis (Weis Quality was the in house brand) items were just as good or better than some brands, and at a price point we liked. The coupons on top of that were great. Another thing Weis would do is at the register we sometimes got the $5 off your next visit of $35 or $25 off the next $100 visit coupons. Weis also showed on the receipt how much in dollars and percentage overall you saved each trip. (We averaged %35.)

Concerning produce, most newspaper and even online coupons are going to be for non-store brands, box (as you noted) or junk foods. The produce only coupons you're hoping for will not happen in my experience. The best I've seen is catching produce on sale. Maybe you'll find something for frozen or canned (though cans it's also usually a sale more than a coupon).

I don't know where you are, so I'm not sure if there is a local food co-op you could join that might (but not always) be less expensive. I've lived in places where the co-op pricing could swing either way, depending on location.

What I've liked about the co-ops we've belonged to is that we don't have to buy a huge bulk of whatever at any given time like stores such as Costco require. Our family is just myself and my spouse, so we have less waste concerns that way when we only have to buy what we need.

I know there are also websites that track how some brands or types of groceries trend price wise over the year--so you get a good idea of when they'll be on at least a sale if not a super sale. So if you are someone with lots of storage space, you can grab extras during those seasonal promos with planning as well. I tried to follow that for a bit, but it was more work than I was willing to do. (And not all the places we've lived had loads of storage space either for non perishables or canned goods.)

My two copper.
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